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Increase in Online Shopping Caused by Pandemic Will Result in Permanent Change to Consumer Habits

12 April 2020 - 11:47 by Graham Miller

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Figures published by Kantar this week suggest that as the proportion of people carrying out safe shopping online increases across Europe in response to restrictions on movement imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus, e-commerce sites are likely to sustain this uptick in usage even after the threat of the pandemic has subsided.

Almost two-thirds of people questioned as part of the study said that they intend to keep using online shopping sources just as frequently in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, in spite of the fact that bricks and mortar locations will eventually reopen and the high street will once more come back to life for retailers selling non-essential products.

A fifth of respondents said that they have visited real-world outlets less frequently in recent weeks, while a third said that they were anticipating further rises in safe shopping online, especially as lockdown restrictions are expected to get tougher both in the UK and on the continent.

The proportion of people who make most of their purchases on the web has been boosted by 80 per cent in certain countries, showing just how much of an impact coronavirus has had and continues to have on retail.

Analysts also predicted that while certain market niches were suffering at the moment, with fashion and home furnishings being hit especially hard by this crisis, consumer spending will likely rise dramatically after restrictions on movement are lifted later in 2020.

60 per cent of shoppers said that they would be splashing out on consumer electronics a few months down the line when there is less getting in the way of their enjoyment of these devices. This is being seen as one of many reassuring signs for the long-term health of the industry.